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we've got more money going out for local police than -- than any previous administration. so, we've got to get it under control and there is one last thing -- point i'd make. drugs. we have got to win our national strategy against drugs, the fight against drugs. and we're making some progress. doing a little better on interdiction, we're not doing as well amongst the -- amongst the -- the people that get to be habitual drug users. the good news is, and i think it's true in richmond, teen-age use is down of cocaine substantially, 60 percent in the last couple of years. so we're making progress but until we get that one done, we're not going to solve the neighborhood crime problem. >> mr. perot, there are young black males in america dying at unprecedented rates. >> i'd just like to comment on this. >> yes, i'm getting to --- >> oh, you're going to elaborate, o.k. excuse me. >> the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death among young black males 15 to 24 years old. what are you going to do to get the guns off the street? >> on any program, and this includes crime, you'll find we have all kinds of great plans lying around that never get enacted into law and implemented.
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i don't care what it is -- competitiveness, health care, crime, you name it -- the brady bill, i agree that it's a tentative step in the right direction but it won't fix it. so why pass a law that won't fix it? now, what it really boils down to is can you live -- we have become so preoccupied with the rights of the criminal that we've forgotten the rights of the innocent. and in our country we have evolved to a point where we've put millions of innocent people in jail because you go to the poor neighborhoods and they put bars on their windows and bars on their doors and put themselves in jail to protect the things that they're acquired legitimately. that's where we are. we have got to become more concerned about people who play by the rules and get the balance we require. this is going to take first building a consensus in grass- roots america; right from the bottom up the american people have got to say they want it. and at that point, we can pick
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from a variety of plans and develop new plans, and the way you get things done is bury yourselves in a room with one another, put together the best program, take it to the american people, use the electronic town hall -- the kind of thing you're doing here tonight -- build a consensus and then do it and then go on to the next one. but don't just sit here slow- dancing for four years doing nothing. >> thank you, thank you, mr. perot. we have a question up here? >> please state your position on term limits, and if you are in favor of them how will you get them enacted? >> any order? i'll be glad to respond. i strongly support term limits for members of the united states congress. i believe it would return the government closer to the people, in a way that ross perot is talking about. the president's terms are limited to two -- a total of eight years; what's wrong with limiting the terms of members of congress to 12? congress has gotten kind of institutionalized, for 38 years one party has controlled the house of representatives and the result, a sorry little post office that can't -- you know, can't do anything right and a bank that has more overdrafts
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than all the chase bank and citibank put together. we've got to do something about it and i think you get a certain arrogance -- bureaucratic arrogance -- when people stay there too long. and so i favor -- strongly favor -- term limits. and how to get them passed? send us some people that'll pass the idea. and i think you will, i think the american people want it now. every place i go i talk about it and i think they want it done. actually, you'd have to have some amendments to the constitution because of the way the constitution reads. >> thank you. governor clinton? >> i know they're popular but i'm against them. i'll tell you why. i believe, no. 1, it would pose a real problem for a lot of smaller states in the congress, would have enough trouble now making sure their interests are heard. no. 2, i think it would increase the influence of unelected staff members in the congress who have too much influence already. i want to cut the size of the congressional staffs, but i think you're going to have too much influence there with people who were never elected who have lots of expertise. no.
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3, if the people really have a mind to change, they can. you're going to have 120 to 150 new members of congress. now let me tell you what i favor instead; i favor strict controls on how much you can spend running for congress. strict limits on political action committees. requirements that people running for congress appear in open public debates like we're doing now. if you did that, you could take away the incumbent's advantage because challengers like me would have a chance to run against incumbents like him for house races and senate races, and then the voters could make up their own minds without being subject to an unfair fight. so, that's how i feel about it. i think if we have the right kind of campaign reform, we'd get the changes you want. >> mr. perot, would you like to address term limitations? >> yes. let me do it, first, on a personal level.
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if the american people send me up to do this job, i intend to be there one term. i do not intend to spend one minute of one day thinking about re-election. and as a matter of principle, and my situation is unique and i understand it, i would take absolutely no compensation. i'd go as their servant. now, i have set as strong an example as i can and at that point when we sit down over at capital hill; tomorrow night i'm going to be talking about government reform. it's a long subject; you wouldn't let me finish tonight. you want to hear it, you can get it tomorrow night. but, the point is, you'll hear it tomorrow night. but, we have got to reform government. if you put term limits in, and don't reform government, you won't get the benefit you thought. it takes both. so, we need to do the reform and the term limits and after we reform it, it won't be a lifetime career opportunity. good people will go serve and then go back to their homes. and not become foreign lobbyists and cash in at $30,000 bucks a month and then take time off to run some president's campaign.
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this, they're all nice people, they're just in a bad system. i don't there are any villains but, boy, is the system rotten. >> thank you very much. we have a question over here. >> i'd like to ask governor clinton: do you attribute the rising cost of health care to the medical profession itself? or do you think the problem lies elsewhere, and what specific proposals do you have to tackle this problem? >> i've had more people talk to me about their health care problems, i guess, than anything else. all across america, you know, people that lost their jobs, lost their businesses, had to give up their jobs because of their children. so, let me try to answer you in this way. let's start with a premise. we spend 30 percent more of our income than any nation on earth on health care. and yet we insure fewer people. we have 35 million people without any insurance at all. i see them all the time. a hundred thousand americans a month have lost their health insurance just in the last four years.
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so if you analyze where we're out of line with other countries, you come up with the following conclusions: no. 1, we spend at least $60 billion a year on insurance, administrative costs, bureaucracy and government regulation that wouldn't be spent in any other nation. so we have to have, in my judgment, a drastic simplification of the basic health insurance policies of this country. be very comprehensive for everybody. employers would cover their employees. government would cover the unemployed. no. 2, i think you have to take on specifically the insurance companies and require them to make some significant change in the way they rate people into big community pools. i think you have to tell the pharmaceutical companies they can't keep raising drug prices at three times the rate of inflation. i think you have to take on medical fraud. i think you have to help doctors stop practicing defensive medicine. i've recommended that our doctors be given a set of national practice guidelines and that if they follow those guidelines, that raises the presumption that they didn't do anything wrong. i think you have to have a system of primary and preventive
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clinics in our inner cities and our rural areas so people can have access to health care. the key is to control the cost and maintain the quality. to do that you need a system of managed competition where all of us are covered in big groups and we can choose our doctors and our hospitals across a wide range, but there is an incentive to control costs and i think there has to be -- i think mr. perot and i agree on this, there has to be a national commission of health care providers and health care consumers that set ceilings to keep health costs in line with inflation plus population growth. now let me say, some people say we can't do this but hawaii does it. they cover 98 percent of their people and their insurance premiums are much cheaper than the rest of america. and so does rochester, n.y. they now have a plan to cover everybody and their premiums are two-thirds of the rest of the country. this is very important. it's a big human problem and a devastating economic problem for america. to i'm going to send a plan do this within the first hundred days of my presidency. it's terribly important. >> thank you. sorry to cut you short, but
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president bush, health care reform. >> can i -- i just have to say something. i don't want a stampede -- ross was very articulate -- across the country. i don't want anybody to stampede to cut the president's salary off altogether. barbara's sitting over here and i -- i -- but what i have proposed, 10 percent cut, downsize the government and we can get that done. she asked the question, i think, is whether the health care profession was to blame. no. one thing to blame is these malpractice lawsuits. they are breaking the system. it costs 20 to 25 billion dollars a year and i want to see those outrageous claims capped. doctors don't dare to deliver babies sometimes because they're afraid that somebody's going to sue them. people don't dare -- medical practitioners -- to help somebody along the highway that are hurt, because they're afraid that some lawyer's going to come along and get a big lawsuit. so you can't blame the practitioners for the health problem. and my program is this. keep the government as far out of it as possible.
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make insurance available to the poorest of the poor through vouchers, next range in the income bracket through -- through tax credits. and get on about the business of pooling insurance. a great big company can buy -- ross got a good-size company, been very successful. he can buy insurance cheaper than mom and pop store on the corner. but if those mom and pop stores all get together and pool, they too can bring the cost of insurance down. so, i want to keep the quality of health care -- that means keep government out of it. i want to do -- i don't like this idea of these boards. it all sounds to me like you're going to have some government setting price. i want competition and i want to pool the insurance and take care of it that way. and have -- here's another point. i think medical care should go with the person. if you leave a business, i think your insurance should go with you to some other business. you shouldn't be worrying if you get a new job as to whether
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that's going to -- and part of our plan is to make it what they call portable. a big word, but that means, if you're working for the jones company, you go to the smith company, your insurance goes with you. and i think it's a good program. i'm really excited about getting it done, too. >> mr. perot. >> we have the most expensive health-care system in the world; 12 percent of our gross national product goes to health care. our industrial competitors who are beating us in competition spend less and have better health care. japan spends a little over 6 percent of its gross national product, germany spends 8 percent. it's fascinating. you bought a front-row box seat and you're not happy with your health care, and you're saying we've got bad health care but very expensive health care. folks, here's why. go home and look in the mirror. you own this country but you have no voice in it the way it's organized now. and if you want to have a high- risk experience comparable to bungee jumping, go in to congress some time when they're working on this kind of legislation, when the lobbyists are running up and down the halls.
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wear your safety-toe shoes when you go. and as a private citizen, believe me, you are looked on as a major nuisance. the facts are, you now have a government that comes at you and you're supposed to have a government that comes from you. now there are all kinds of good ideas, brilliant ideas, terrific ideas on health care. none of them ever get implemented because -- let me give you an example. a senator runs every six years; he's got to raise 20,000 bucks a week to have enough money to run. who's he going to listen to, us? or the folks running up and down the aisles with money -- the lobbyists, the pac money. he listens to them. who do they represent? the health-care industry. not us. now you've got to have a government that comes from you again; you've got to reassert your ownership in this country and you've got to completely reform our government. and at that point they'll just be like apples falling out of a tree -- the programs will be good because the elected officials will be listening to -- i said the other night i was all ears? and i would listen to any good idea? i think we ought to do plastic surgery on all of these guys so
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that they are all ears, too, and listen to you. then you get what you want, and shouldn't you? you pay for it, why shouldn't you get what you want as opposed to what some lobbyist who cuts a deal, writes the little piece in the law and it goes through. that's the way the game's played now. >> thank you. governor clinton, you wanted one brief point --- >> one brief point. we have elections so people can make decisions about this. the point i want to make to you is a bipartisan commission reviewed my plan and the bush plan and concluded -- there were as many republicans as democratic health care experts on it -- they concluded that my play would cover everybody and his would leave two -- 27 million behind by the year 2000. and that my plan in the next 12 years would save $2.2 trillion in public and private money to reinvest in this economy. and the average family would save $1,200 a year under the plan that i offered without any erosion in the quality of health care. so i ask you to look at that. and you have to vote for somebody with a plan. that's what you have elections
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for. if people say, well, he got elected to do this and then the congress says, o.k., i'm doing to do it -- that's what the election was about. >> brief, governor clinton, thank you. we have a question right here. touched by the economy q: yes. how has the national debt personally affected each of your lives. and if it hasn't, how can you honestly find a cure for the economic problems of the common people if you have no experience in what's ailing them? >> may i --- >> well, mr. perot, yes, of course. >> who do you want to start with? go right ahead. >> each of you --- >> it caused me to disrupt my private life and my business to get involved in this activity. that's how much i care about it. and believe me if you knew my family and if you knew the private life i have, you would agree in a minute that that's a whole lot more fun than getting involved in politics. but i became -- i have lived the american dream. i came from a very modest background; nobody's been luckier than i've been. all the way across the spectrum and the greatest riches of all are my wife and children. just as it's true of any family. but, i want all the children -- i want these young people up here to be able to start with
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nothing but an idea like i did and build a business. but they've got to have a strong basic economy. and if you're in debt, you're -- it's like having a ball and chain around you. i'm doing -- i just figure as lucky as i've been i owe it to them. and i owe it to the future generations. and on a very personal basis, i owe it to my children and grandchildren. >> thank you, mr. perot. mr. president. >> well, i think the national debt affects everybody. obviously it has a lot to do with interest rates. it has -- >> she's saying you personally. >> on a personal basis, how has it affected you -- has it affected you personally? >> well, i'm sure it has. i love my grandchildren and i want to think that --- >> how? >> i want to think that they're going to be able to afford an education.
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i think that that's an important part of being a parent. i -- if the question -- if you're -- maybe i get it wrong. are you suggesting that if somebody has means that the national doesn't affect them? >> well, what i'm saying --- >> i'm not sure i get it. help me with the question and i'll try to answer it. >> well, i've had friends that have been laid off from jobs. i know people who cannot afford to pay the mortgage on their homes; they're car payment. i have personal problems with the national debt. but how has it affected you? and if you have no experience in it, how can you help us if you don't know what we're feeling? >> i think she means more the recession, the economic problems today the country faces rather than the deficit. >> well, you ought to -- you ought to be in the white house for a day and hear what i hear and see what i see and read the mail i read and touch the people that i touch from time to time. i was in the lomax a.m.e. church. it's a black church just outside of washington, d.c. and i read in the -- in the bulletin about teen-age pregnancies, about the difficulty that families are having to meet ends -- to make ends meet. i talk to parents. i mean, you've got to care. everybody cares if people aren't doing well. but i don't think -- i don't think it's fair to say, you haven't had cancer, therefore
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you don't know what it's like. i don't think it's fair to say, you know, whatever it is, that if you haven't been hit by it personally -- but everybody's affected by the debt because of the tremendous interest that goes into paying on that debt, everything's more expensive. everything comes out of your pocket and my pocket. so it's, it's sad, but i think in terms of the recession, of course you feel it when you're president of the united states. and that's why i'm trying to do something about it by stimulating the exports, investing more, better education system. thank you. i'm glad to clarify it. >> governor clinton. >> tell me how it's affected you again. you know people who've lost their jobs and lost their homes. >> well, yeah, uh-huh. >> well, i've been governor of a small state for 12 years. i'll tell you how it's affected me. every year, congress and the president sign laws that makes us -- make us do more things and
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gives us less money to do it with. i see people in my state, middle-class people, their taxes have gone up in washington and their services have gone down while the wealthy have gotten tax cuts. i have seen what's happened in this last four years when in my state, when people lose their jobs, there's a good chance i'll know them by their names. when a factory closes i know the people who ran it. when the businesses go bankrupt, i know them. and i've been out here for 13 months meeting in meetings just like this ever since october with people like you all over america, people that have lost their jobs, lost their livelihood, lost their health insurance. what i want you to understand is the national debt is not the only cause of that. it is because america has not invested in its people. it is because we have not grown. it is because we've had 12 years of trickle-down economics. we've gone from first to 12th in the world in wages. we've had four years were we've produced no private-sector jobs. most people are working harder for less money than they were making 10 years ago. it is because we are in the grip of a failed economic theory. and this decision you're about to make better be about what kind of economic theory you want.
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not just people saying i want to go fix it but what are we going to do. what i think we have to do is invest in american jobs, american education, control american health care costs and bring the american people together again. >> thank you, governor clinton. we are a little more than half way through this program, and i'm glad that we're getting the diversity of questions that we are, and i don't want to forget these folks in the wings over here. so let's go over here. do you have a question? >> my name is vin smith. i work in the financial field counseling retirees, and i'm particularly concerned about three major areas. one is the social security administration where trust fund is projected to be insolvent by the year 2036, and we funded the trust fund with i.o.u.'s in the form of treasury bonds. the pension guarantee fund, which backs up our private retirement plans for retirees,
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is projected to be bankrupt by the year 2026, not to mention the cutbacks by private companies, and medicare is projected to be bankrupt, maybe as soon as 1997. and i would like from each of you a specific response as to what you intend to do for retirees relative to these issues. not generalities but specifics, because i think they're very disturbing issues. >> president bush, may we start with you? >> well, the social security -- you're an expert, and i can, i'm sure, learn from you the details of the pension guarantee fund and the social security fund. the social security system was fixed about five years and i think it's projected out to be sound beyond that. so at least we have time to work with it. but on all these things, a sound economy is the only way to get it going. growth in the economy is going to add to these -- add to the overall prosperity and wealth. i can't give you a specific answer on pension guarantee funds; all i know is that we have firm government credit to guarantee the pensions, and that is very important. but it's -- it's the full faith
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and credit of the united states in space -- in spite of our difficulties is still pretty good. it's still the most respected credit. so i would simply say as these dates get close you're going to have to reorganize and refix as we did with the social security fund. and i think that's the only answer. the most -- more immediate answer is to do what this lady was suggesting we do, and that is to get this deficit down and get on without adding to the woes and then restructure. one thing i've called for has been stymied and i'll keep on working for it is a whole financial reform legislation. it is absolutely essential in terms of bringing our banking system and credit system into the new age instead of having it living back in the dark ages. and it's a big fight and i don't want to give my friend ross another shot at me here, but i am fighting with the congress to get this through. and you can't just go up and say, "i'm going to fix it." you've got some pretty strong- willed guys up there that argue with you.
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but that's what the election's about. i agree with the governor. that's what the election is about. and sound fiscal policy is the best answer i think to the -- all the three problems you mentioned. >> thank you. mr. perot. >> yes, on the broad issue here. when you're trying to solve a problem, you get the best plans. you have a raging debate about those plans. then, out of that debate with leadership comes consensus. then, if the plans are huge and complex like health care, i would urge you to implement pilot programs. like the old carpenter who says measure twice and cut once. let's make sure this thing's as good as we all think it is at the end of the meeting. then finally our government passes laws and freezes the plan in concrete. anybody that's ever built a successful business will tell you, you optimize, optimize, optimize after you put something into effect. the reason medicare and medicaid are a mess is we froze them. everybody knows how to fix them. there are people all over the federal government, if they could just touch it with a screwdriver could fix it. now back over here. see, we've got a $4 trillion debt and only in america would you have 2.8 trillion of it or 70 percent of it, financed five years or less.
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now that's another thing for you think about when you go home tonight. you don't finance long-term debt with short-term money. why did our government do it? to get the interest rates down. a 1 percent increase in the interest rates and that $2.8 trillion is $28 billion a year. now when you look at what germany pays for money and what we don't pay for money you realize it's quite a spread, right. and you realize this is a temporary thing and there's going to be another sucking sound that runs our deficit through the roof. you know, and everybody's ducking it so i'm going to say it. that we are not letting that surplus stay in the bank. we are not investing that surplus like a pension fund. we are spending that surplus to make the deficit look smaller to you than it really is. now that's put you in jail in corporate america if you kept books that way, but in government it's just kind of the way things are. that's because it comes at you not from you. now then, that money needs to be -- they don't even pay interest on it, they just write a note
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for the interest. >> mr. perot, can you wrap it up? >> so now then, that's important. see, do you want to fix the problem or sound bite it? i understand the importance of time but -- see here's how we get to this mess we're in. this is just 1 of 1,000 --- >> but we've got to be fair. >> now then, to nail it, there's one way out. a growing expanding job base, a growing expanding job base to generate the funds and the tax revenues to pay off the mess and rebuild america. we got a double hit. if we're $4 trillion down, we should have everything perfect, but we don't. we've got to pay it off and build money to renew it -- spend money to renew it and that's going to take a growing expanding job base. that is priority 1 in this
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country. put everybody that's breathing to work. and i'd love to be out of workers and have to import them like some of our international competitors. >> mr. perot, i'm sorry i'm going to --- >> sorry. >> and i don't want to sound bite you, but we are trying to be fair to everyone. >> o.k. no, absolutely. i apologize. >> all right, governor clinton. >> i think i remember the question. and let me say first of all -- i want to answer your specific question but first of all we all agree that there should be a growing economy. what you have to decide is who's got the best economic plan. and we all have ideas out there, and mr. bush has a record. so i don't want you to read my lips, and i sure don't want you to read his. i just -- i do hope you will read our plans. now specifically --- >> that's the first rule. >> specifically, one: on medicare, it is not true that everyone knows how to fix it; there are different ideas. the bush plan, the perot plan, the clinton -- we have different ideas. i am convinced, having studied health care for a year, hard, and talking to hundreds and hundreds of people all across america, that you cannot control the costs of medicare until you control the costs of private health care and public health care, with managed competition, a ceiling on costs and radical reorganization of the insurance markets.
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you've got to do that, we've got to get those costs down. six increases in the payroll tax -- that means people with incomes of $51,000 a year or less pay a disproportionately high share of the federal tax burden which is why i want some middle-class tax relief. what do we have to do? by the time the century turns, we have got to have our deficit under control. we have to work out of so that surplus is building up so when the baby boomers like me retire, we're o.k. no. 3, on the pension funds, i don't know as much about it but i will say this. what i would do is to bring in the pension experts of the country, take a look at it and strengthen the pension requirements further because it's not just enough to have a guarantee. we had a guarantee on the s.& l.'s, right? we had a guarantee and what happened? you picked up a $500 billion bill because of the dumb way the federal government deregulated. so i think we are going to have to change and strengthen the pension requirements on private retirement plans.
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>> thank you. i think we have a question here on international affairs, hopefully. >> we' come to a position where we're in the new world order. and i'd like to know what the candidates feel our position is in this new world order and what our responsibilities are as a superpower. >> mr. president. >> well, we have come to that position since i became president, 43, 44 countries have gone democratic. no longer totalitarian; no longer living under dictatorship or communist rule. this is exciting. this is -- new world order to me means freedom and democracy. i think we will have a continuing responsibility as the only remaining superpower to stay involved. if we pull back in some isolation and say we don't have to do our share or more than our share anymore, i believe you can just ask for conflagration that we'll get involved in in the future. nato, for example, has kept the peace for many, many years and i want to see us keep fully staffed in nato so we'll continue to guarantee the peace in europe. but the exciting thing is the
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fear of nuclear war is down and you hear all the bad stuff that's happened on my watch. i hope people will recognize that this is something pretty good for mankind. i hope they'll think it's good that democracy and freedom is on the move. and we're going to stay engaged, as long as i'm president, working to improve things. you know, it's so easy now to say hey, cut out foreign aid, we got a problem at home. i think the united states has to still be have the statue of liberty as a symbol of caring for others. we're -- right this very minute we're sending supplies in to help these little starving kids in somalia.
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we're trying to get -- we're -- it's the united states that's taken the lead in, in humanitarian aid into bosnia. we're doing this all around the world. yes, we got problems at home and i think i got a good plan to help fix those problems at home. but because of our leadership, because we didn't listen to the freeze, the nuclear freeze group, you remember? freeze it back in about 19 -- the late 70's. freeze. don't touch it. we're going to lock it in now or else we'll have war. president reagan said, "no, peace through strength." it worked. the soviet union is no more and now we're working to help them become totally democratic through the freedom support act that i led on. a great democratic ambassador, bob strauss, over there. jim baker. all of us got this thing passed through cooperation, ross, it worked with cooperation and you're for that i'm sure. helping russia become democratic.
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so the new world order, to me, means freedom and democracy, keep engaged. do not pull back into isolation and we are the united states and we have a responsibility to lead and to guarantee the security. if it hadn't been for us, saddam huss if it hadn't been for us, saddam hussein would be sitting on top of three-fifths of the oil supply of the world and he'd have nuclear weapons. and the -- only the united states could do that. excuse me, carole. >> thank you. mr. perot? >> well, it's cost effective to help russia succeed in its revolution. pennies on the dollar compared to going back to cold war. russia's still very unstable; they could go back to square one and worse. still, all the nuclear weapons are not dismantled. i'm particularly concerned about the intercontinental weapons; the ones that can hit us. we've got agreements but they're still there. with all this instability and breaking in the republics, and all the middle eastern countries going over there shopping for weapons, we've got our work cut out for us so we need to stay right on top of that and constructively help them move toward democracy and capitalism. we have to have money to do that. we have to have our people at work.
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see, for 45 years we were preoccupied with the red army. i suggest now that our no. 1 preoccupation is red ink in our country, and we've got to put our people back to work, so that we can afford to do these things we want to do in russia. we cannot be the policemen for the world any longer. we spent $300 billion a year defending the world. germany and japan spend around $30 billion apiece. it's neat. if i can get you to defend me and i can spend all my money building industry, that's a homerun for me. coming out of world war ii it made sense. now, the other superpowers need to do their part. i close on this point. you can't be a superpower unless you're an economic superpower. if we're not an economic superpower we used to be, then we will no longer be a force good throughout the world. and if nothing else gets you excited about rebuilding our industrial base, maybe that will because it's job i; is to put our people back to work. >> governor clinton, the president mentioned saddam hussein. your vice president and you
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have had some words about the president and saddam hussein. would you care to comment? >> i'd rather answer a question first, then i'll be glad to. cause the question you ask is important. the end of the cold war brings an incredible opportunity for change. winds of freedom blowing around the world. russia demilitarizing. and it also requires us to maintain some continuity; some bipartisan american commitment to certain principles. and i would just say there are three things that i would like to say. no. 1, we do have to maintain the world's strongest defense. we may differ about what the elements of that are. i think the defense needs to be with fewer people and permanent armed services, but with greater mobility on the land, in the air, and on the sea. with a real dedication to continuing the development of high technology weaponry, and well-trained people. i think we're going to have to work to stop the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. got to keep going until all the nuclear weapons in russia are
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gone, and the other republics. no. 2, if you don't rebuild the economic strength of this country at home we won't be a superpower. we can't have any more instances like what happened when mr. bush went to japan and the japanese prime minister said he felt sympathy for our country. we have to be the strongest economic power in the world. that's what got me into this race. so we could rebuild the american economy. and no. 3, we need to be a force for freedom and democracy and we need to use our unique position to support freedom whether it's in haiti, or in china, or in any other place; wherever the seeds of freedom are sprouting. needn't impose it but we to nourish it. and that's the kind of thing that i would do as president. follow those three commitments into the future. >> o.k., we have a question up there. >> yes, you've talked a lot tonight about creating jobs, but we have an awful lot of high school graduates who don't know how to read a ruler, who
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cannot fill out an application for a job. how can we create high-paying jobs with the education system we have, and what would you do to change it? >> who would like to begin? the education president? >> go ahead, yeah, go ahead. >> i'd be delighted to. because you can't do it the old way. you can't do it with the school bureaucracy controlling everything. newthat's why we have a program that i hope people have heard about. it's being worked now in 1,700 communities -- bypassed congress on this one, ross -- 1,700 communities across the country. it's called america 2000. and it literally says to the communities: reinvent the schools. not just the bricks and mortar, but the curriculum and everything else. think anew. we have a concept called the new american school corporation where we're doing exactly that. and so i don't -- i believe that we've got to get the power in the hands of the teacher, not the teachers' union.
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i -- what's happening up there. and so our america 2000 program also says this. it says let's give parents the choice of a public, private or public school -- public, private or religious school. and it works. it works in milwaukee. democratic woman up there taken the lead in this -- the mayor up there -- on the program. and the schools that are not chosen are improved; competition does that. so we've got to innovate through school choice; we've got to innovate through this america 2000 program. but she is absolutely right -- the programs that we've been trying where you control everything and mandate it from washington don't work. the governors -- and i believe governor clinton was in on this, but maybe -- i don't want to invoke him here. but they come to me and they say, "please get the congress to stop passing so many mandates telling us how to control things. we know better how to do it in california" or texas or wherever
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it is. so this is what our program is all about, and i believe you're right on to something. if we don't change the education we're not going to be able to compete. federal funding for education is up substantially, pell grants are up, but it isn't going to get the job done if we don't change k through 12. >> governor clinton? >> first of all, let me say that i've spent more of my time and life on this in the last 12 years than any other issue. seventy percent of my state's money goes to the public schools, and i was really honored when time magazine said that our schools had shown more improvement than any other state in the country, except one other -- they named two states showing real strides forward in the 80's. so i care a lot about this and i've spent countless hours in schools. but let me start with what you said. i agree with some of what mr. bush said but it's nowhere near enough. we live in a world where what you earn depends on what you can learn, where the average 18- year-old will change jobs eight times in a lifetime, and where
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none of us can promise any of you that what you now do for a living is absolutely safe from now on. nobody running can promise that, there's too much change in the world. so what should we do? let me reel some things off real quick because you said you wanted specifics. no. 1, under my program we would provide matching funds to states to teach everybody with a job to read in the next five years and give everybody with a job a chance to get a high school diploma; in big places, on the job. no. 2, we would provide two-year apprenticeship programs to high school graduates who don't go to college, in community colleges or on the job. no. 3, we'd open the doors to college education to high school graduates without regard to income; they could borrow the money and pay it back as a percentage of their income over the couple of years of service to our nation here at home. no. 4, we would fully fund the head start program to get little kids off to a good start. and 5, i would have an aggressive program of school reform, more choices. i favor public schools or these new charter schools; we can talk
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about that if you want. i don't think we should spend tax money on private schools but i favor public school choice, and i favor radical decentralization and giving more power to better-trained principals and teachers with parent councils to control their schools. those things would revolutionize american education and take us to the top economically. >> thank you, governor clinton. what the question is, what is it going to cost? what is it going to cost? >> in six years the -- i budget all this in my budget -- in six years, the college program would cost $8 billion, over and above what -- the president's student loan program costs four. you pay $3 billion for busted loans because we don't have an automatic recovery system and a billion dollars in bank fees. so the net cost would be 8 billion six years from now in a trillion-plus budget, not very much. the other stuff, all the other stuff i mentioned, costs much less than that. the head start program full funding would cost about $5 billion more. and it's all covered in my budget from the plans that i've laid out from raising taxes on families with incomes above
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$200,000 and asking foreign corporations to pay the same tax that american corporations do on the same income. from $140 billion budget cuts including what i think are very prudent cuts in the defense budget. it's all covered in the plan. >> thank you. mr. perot, you on education, please. >> yes. i've got scars to show from being around education reform. and the first words you need to say in every city and state and just draw a line in the sand, is public schools exist for the benefit of the children. you're going to see a lot of people fall over. because anytime you're spending $199 billion a year, somebody's getting it. and the children get lost in the process. so that's step 1. keep in mind in 1960 when our schools were the envy of the world we were spending $16 billion on them. now we spend more than any other nation in the world, $199 billion a year and ranked at the bottom of the industrialized world in terms of education achievement. one more time, you bought a front row box seat and got a third-rate performance, because the government is not serving you.
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by and large it should be local. the more local the better. an interesting phenomenon. small towns have good schools, big cities have terrible schools. the best people in a small town will serve on the school board. you get into big cities, it's political patronage, stepping stones. you get the job, you gave your relatives the janitors jobs at $57,000 a year, more than the teachers make and with luck they clean the cafeteria once a week. now, you're paying for that. those schools belong to you. and we put up with that. now as long as you put up with that that's what you're going to get. and these folks are just dividing up 199 billion bucks the children get lost. if i could wish for one thing for great public school's it'd be a strong family unit in every home. nothing will ever replace that. you say, well, gee, what are you going to do about that. well, the white house is a bully pulpit and i think we ought to be pounding on the table every day. there's nothing -- the most efficient unit of government the world will ever know is a strong loving family unit. next thing, you need small schools not big schools. in a little school everybody's somebody. individualism is very important.
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these big factories, everybody told me they were cost effective. i did a study on it. they're cost ineffective. five thousand students, why is a high school that big? one reason. sooner or later you'll get 11 more boys that can run like the devil that weigh 250 pounds and they might win district. now that has nothing to do with learning. secondly, across texas typically half the school day, was non-academic pursuits. in one place it was 35 percent. in texas you can have unlimited absences to go to livestock shows. i found a boy -- excuse me but this gives the flavor -- a boy in houston kept a chicken in the bathtub in downtown houston. he mixed 65 days going to livestock shows. finally had to come back to school. the chicken lost his feathers. that's the only way we got him back. now, that's your tax money being wasted. now, neighborhood schools, it is terrible to bus tiny little children across town. and it is particularly terrible to take poor tiny little children and wait until the first grade and bus them across town to mars where the children know their numbers, know their letters, have had every advantage.
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the end of the first day that little child wants out. i close on this. you've got to have world-class teachers, world-class books. if you ever got close to how these books were selected, you wouldn't want to go back the second day. i don't have time to tell the stories. >> no, you don't. >> if we don't fix this, you're right, we can't have the industries of tomorrow unless we have the best educated work force. and here you've got for the disadvantaged children, you've got to have early childhood development; cheapest money you'll ever spend. first contact should be with the mother when she's pregnant. that little child needs to be loved and hugged and nurtured and made feel special. like your children were. they learn to think well or poorly of themselves --- >> thank you. >>in the first two years they learn how to learn or don't know how to learn how to learn and if they don't, they wind up in prison --- >> thank you, mr. >> than it does to send them to harvard. i rest my case. >> thank you. president bush, you wanted to --- >> i just have a word of clarification because of something governor clinton said.
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my school choice program, g.i. bill for kids, does not take public money and give it to private schools. it does what the g.i. bill itself did, when i came out of world war ii. it takes public money and gives it to families or individuals to choose the school they want. and where it's been done; those schools like in rochester, those schools that weren't chosen, find that they then compete and do better. so i think it's worth a shot. we've got a pilot program. it ought to be tried. school choice; public, private, or religious. not to the schools, but -- you know, 46 percent of the teachers in chicago; public school teachers; send their kids to private school. now, i think we ought to try to help families and see if it will do what i think make all schools better. >> i just want to mention, if i could, just --- >> very briefly. >> very briefly. involving the parents in the pre-school education of their kids, even if they're poor and uneducated, could make a huge difference. we have a big program in my
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state that teaches mothers or fathers to teach their kids to get ready for school. it's the most successful thing we've ever done. just a fact clarification, real quickly. we do not spend a higher percentage of our income on public education than every other country. there are nine countries that spend more than we do on public education. we spend more on education because we spend so much more on colleges. but if you look at public education alone, and you take it into account the fact that we have more racial diversity and more poverty, it makes a big difference. there are great public schools where there's public school choice, accountability and brilliant principles. i'll just mention one. the beasley academic center in chicago. i commend it to anybody; it's as good as any private school in the country. >> we have very little time left and it occurs to me that we have talked all this time and there has not been one question about some of the racial tensions and ethnic tensions in america. is there anyone in this audience that would like to pose a question to the candidates on this? yes.
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>> what i'd like to know -- and this is to any of the three of you -- is aside from the recent accomplishments of your party, aside from those accomplishments in racial representation, and without citing any of your current appointments or successful elections, when do you estimate your party will both nominate and elect an afro-american and female ticket to the presidency of the united states? >governor clinton, why don't you answer that first. >> well i don't have any idea, but i hope it will happen sometime in my lifetime. >> i do too. >> i believe that this country is electing more and more african-americans and latinos and asian-americans who are representing districts that are themselves not necessarily of a majority of their race. the american people are beginning to bolt across racial
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lines and i hope it will happen more and more. more and more women are being elected. look at all these women senate candidates we have here. and, you know, according to my mother and my wife and my daughter this world would be a lot better place if women were running it most of the time. i do think there are special experiences and judgments and backgrounds and understandings that women bring to this process, by the way. this lady said here, how have you been affected by the economy. i mean, women know what it's like to be paid an unequal amount for equal work. they know what it's like not to have flexible working hours. they know what it's like not to have family leave or child care. so i think it would be a good thing for america if it happened, and i think it will happen in my lifetime. >> we have just a little time left. let's try to get responses from each of them. president bush or mr. perot. >> if barbara bush were running this year, she'd be elected. but she -- it's too late. mentiont want us to appointees, but when you see the quality of people in our administration, see how colin
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powell performed -- i say administration, he's in the --- [ unintelligible] >> you weren't impressed with the fact that he --- >> excuse me, i'm extremely impressed with that. >> yeah, but wouldn't that suggest to the american people, then, here's a quality person, if he decided he could automatically get the nomination of either party or --- [ unintelligible] >> huh? >> i'm totally impressed with that. i just want to know when's your guess when? >> you mean time? >> yeah. >> i don't know. starting after four years. no, i think you'll -- i think you'll see more --- >> mr. perot. >> i think you'll see more minority candidates and women candidates coming forward. >> thank you. >> this is supposed to be the women's -- the year of the women in the senate; let's see how they do. i hope a lot of them lose. >> mr. perot, i don't want to cut you off any more, but we only have a minute left. >> i have a fearless forecast. unless he just won't do it, colin powell will be on somebody's ticket four years from now, right? right? [ unintelligible ] >> you, you, you wanted -- that's it -- four years. >> how about a woman? >> now if he won't be, general waller would be a -- you say, why do you keep picking, picking military people. these, these are people that i just happen to know and have a high regard for. i'm sure there are hundred of
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others. >> how about dr. lou sullivan? >> absolutely. >> yeah, a good man. >> what about a woman? >> oh, oh. >> my candidate's back there. >> o.k. i can think of many. >> many? >> absolutely. >> when? >> how about sandra day o'connor, as an example. dr. >> good. >> national institute of health. i'll yield the floor. name some more. >> thank you. i want to apologize to our audience, because there were 209 people here and there were 209 questions. we only got to a fraction of them, and i'm sorry to those of you that didn't get to ask your questions, but we must move to the conclusion of the program. it is time now for the two- minute closing statements and, by prior agreement, president bush will go first. >> may i ask for an exception because i think we owe carole simpson a -- anybody can stand in between these three characters here and get the job done, we owe her a round of applause. just don't take it out of my time.
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i feel strongly about it but i don't want it to come out of my time. >> give that man more time. >> no, but let me just say to the american people in, in two and a half weeks we're going to choose who should sit in this oval office. who to lead the economic recovery, who to be the leader of the free world, who to get the deficit down. three ways to do that: one is to raise taxes; one is to reduce spending, controlling that mandatory spending; another one is to invest and save and to stimulate growth. i do not want to raise taxes. i differ with the two here on that. i'm just not going to do that. i do believe that we need to control mandatory spending. i think we need to invest and save more. i believe that we need to educate better and retrain better. i believe that we need to export more so i'll keep working for export agreements where we can sell more abroad. and i believe that we must strengthen the family. we've got to strengthen the family. now let me pose this question to america: if in the next five minutes, a television announcer
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came on and said there is a major international crisis -- there is a major threat to the world or in this country -- a major threat. my question is: who, if you were appointed to name one of the three of us, who would you choose? who has the perseverance, the character, the integrity, the maturity to get the job done? i hope i'm that person. thank you very, very much. >> thank you mr. president. and now a closing statement from mr. perot. >> if the american people want to do it and not talk about it, then, they ought -- you know, i'm not person they ought to consider. if they just want to keep slow- dancing and talk about it, and not do it, i'm not your man. i am results-oriented, i am action-oriented. i've built my businesses. getting things done in three
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months what my competitors took 18 months to do. everybody says you can't do that in congress; sure you can do that with congress. congress is -- they're all good people. they're all patriots. but you've got to link arms and work with them. sure, you'll have arguments; sure, you'll have fights. we have them all day, every day. but we get the job done. i have to come back in my close to one thing, because i am passionate about education. i was talking about early childhood education for disadvantaged low-income children. and let me tell you one specific pilot program, where children who don't have a chance go to this program when they're 3, and now we're going back to when the mother's pregnant. they'll start right after they're born. but going -- starting when they're 3 and going to this school until they're 9, and then going into the public schools, in the fourth grade? ninety percent are on the honor roll. now, that will change america. those children will all go to college. they will live the american dream. and i beg the american people, any time they think about reforming education, to take this piece of society that
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doesn't have a chance and take these little pieces of clay that can be shaped and molded and give them the same love and nurture and affection and support you give your children, and teach them that they are unique and that they're precious and there's only one person in the world like them and you will see this nation bloom. and we will have so many people who are qualified for the top job that it will be terrific and finally, if you can't pay the bill, you're dead in the water. and we have got to put our nation back to work. if you don't want to really do that, i'm not your man. there crazy sitting up slow-dancing that one; in other words unless we're going to do it, then pick somebody who likes to talk about it. now just remember, when you think about me, i didn't create this mess, i've been paying taxes like you. and lord knows, i've paid my share. over a billion dollars in taxes. for a guy that started out with everything he owns in -- >> i'm sorry.
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>> it's in your hands. i wish you well. i'll see you tomorrow night. on nbc 10:30, 11 eastern. >> and finally, last but not least, governor clinton. >> thank you, carole. thank you, ladies and gentlemen. since i suggested this forum and i hope it's been good for all of you, i've really tried to be faithful to your request that we answer the questions specifically and pointedly. i thought i owed that to you and i respect you for being here and for the impact you've had on making this as more positive experience. these problems are not easy and not going to be solved overnight. but i want you to think about just two or three things. first of all the people of my state have let me be the governor for 12 years because i made commitments to two things. more jobs and better schools. our schools are now better; our children get off to a better start from preschool programs and smaller classes in the early grades, and we have one of the most aggressive adult
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education programs in the country. we talked about that. this year my state ranks first in the country in job growth, fourth in manufacturing job growth, fourth in income growth, fourth in the decline of poverty. i'm proud of that. it happened because i could work with people, republicans and democrats. that's why we've had 24 retired generals and admirals, hundreds of business people, many of them republican, support this campaign. you have to decide whether you want to change or not. we do not need four more years of an economic theory that doesn't work. we've had 12 years of trickle down economics. it's time to put the american people first, to invest and grow this economy. i'm the only person here who's ever balanced the government budget and i've presented 12 of them and cut spending repeatedly, but you cannot just get there by balancing the budget. we've got to grow the economy by putting people first. real people like you. i've got into this race because i did not want my child to grow up to be part of the first generation of americans to do worse than their parents. we're better than that.
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we can do better than that. i want to make america as great as it can be and i ask for your help in doing it. thank you very much. >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes the debate. i would like to thank our audience of 209 uncommitted voters. hopefully they will go to the polls on november 3rd and vote. we invite you to china as -- join us next monday for the third and final debate. i am carole simpson, good night. [applause]
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>> this is not about governor bush. it is not about me. it is about you. i want to come back to something i said before. if you want somebody who believes that we were better off the eight years ago than we are now, and we better go back to the policies we had back then -- emphasizing tax cuts, mainly for the wealthy. that is your man. if you want someone who will fight for you. for middle-class tax cuts. and i am your man. i want to be. i doubt anybody here makes more than $330,000 a year. if you do, it you are in the top 1%. does everyone here in this audience was dead on in the middle of the middle-class, then the tax cut for every single one of you, all added up would be
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less than the tax cut his plan would give to just one member of that talk wealthiest 1%. you judge for yourself whether or not that is fair. >> we are moving on. >> 50 million americans get no tax cut under your plan. >> that is not right. >> it is time to unite. you talk about eight years. in eight years they have not gotten anything done on medicare, social security, or a patients bill of rights. >> presidential town hall debates began in 1992. every election since, presidential hopefuls have taken questions from undecided voters in the same style. tuesday night, watch co and mitt romney in their town hall debate. see the second presidential debate, the town hall format,
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tuesday, live on c-span and online at coming up next, "washington journal," live with your calls and e-mail. later, last week's vice presidential debate between vice president joe biden and republican candidate paul ryan. next on "washington journal," preview of tuesday's town hall style debates between president obama and mitt romney. then, a look at the electoral college and the impact that non- citizens have on the votes allocated to each state. leonard steinhorn is our guest. leonard steinhorn is our guest.
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